In the past, we have always given our readers a look at the best SEMA feature trucks present at the show. For a change, we thought we would give you a sneak peek of what it takes to build a feature-worthy truck for SEMA.
In the previous build-up tech articles, "One for the Show," Parts 1 and 2, we teamed up with Casey and Ron Scranton of CGS Motorsports in Pomona, California, as they brought the Sean Smith rendering of Coppertone to a reality. The '07 Ford Sport Trac would receive a custom-built aero body kit by Elahn Industries, Top Shop in Corona, California. Casey and Ron shaved the door handles and antenna.
The Ford Sport Trac Coppertone will show off the suspension's vertical athleticism after b
The Sport Trac's entire exterior surface was given a primer coat before Jeff Meech, from Crazy Customs in Escondido, California, applied multiple coats of BASF Coppertone color. It was then given four coats of clear. After the newly painted skin was given a day to cure, it was cut, buffed, and polished by Jake King, a 3M tech specialist and Jerry Berns. A dry, color-sand technique was used, instead of the traditional wet-sand technique. 3M Perfect 3,000 rubbing, buffing, and polishing compounds were then used to bring out the depth and incredible glistening finish.
This segment of "One for the Show" Part 3, will showcase the suspension, wheels, and tires. Casey and Ron wanted to lay out (airbag) the Sport Trac's unique front and rear independent suspension. An Air Lift pneumatic 'bag system with computerized, self-leveling capability was installed at CGS. Then, the Sport Trac Coppertone was trailered over to Devious Customs in Riverside, California, where Jeff Davy and his crew installed the compressor, airline manifold, 1/2-inch-diameter airlines, computer, storage tank, digital controller, and electrical systems. A custom diamond-plate platform and mounting frame were fabricated to house the Air Lift compressor, airline manifold, solenoid valves, relay, computer, and valves that were located in the spare tire space, which is under the bed and behind the rearend. The Air Lift 5-gallon air tank and mounting brackets were welded to the rear crossmember behind the rear end. The 1/2-inch-diameter front and rear airlines were then fitted into the compression choke fittings. The CAT 5 cable was connected to the hand-held electronic control unit (ECU) that was stored inside the center console for easy access. The quick-fill system would recycle itself for instant intake and exhaust of the Air Lift system.
After removing the front wheels and tires, Casey gained access to the front OEM strut susp
The Pirelli Scorpion Zero 265/35ZR22 front and 305/35ZR22 rear were then mounted onto a set of one-off Devious Edge 5 22x8-inch and 22x9-1/2-inch aluminum wheels. Brian Doyen at Hot Motorsports in Santa Ana used a Corghi tire-mounting machine, which delivered both agility and strength for mounting tires with low-profile sidewalls on large diameter wheels, to mount the new tires onto the wheels.
After the wheels and tires were mounted on all four corners. The Air Lift system was then activated, which sparked the compressor, and filled the 5-gallon storage tank to its capacity in a few minutes. After the compressor shut off, Casey purged the system, which instantly descended the Sport Trac to earth, tucking the 22s up inside the wheelwells. The control panel was then activated and instantly popped the Sport Trac up on all fours to its pre-programmed ride height.
A pickle fork was used to separate the upper control arm ball joint from the front spindle
The front suspension strut/coilover assembly was carefully removed.
The OEM upper strut collar was retrieved from the assembly. It would be installed with the
A 3/16-inch Allen wrench was used to secure the Air Lift front strut/'bag collar to the as
The modified OEM front strut collar was inserted onto the front 'bag assembly.
A 9/16-inch wrench was used to secure the upper OEM strut collar to the Air Lift 'bag asse
The Air Lift 'bag assembly was secured to the upper strut mounting location, Casey used a
This overall view shows the front Air Lift 'bag assembly installed into the reassembled OE
Moving to the rear suspension. Ron disconnected and removed the rear strut assembly from t
After welding on an upper rear Air Lift 'bag assembly mounting bracket to the OEM rear sus
Ron inserted a 1/4-inch-diameter airline into the two Air Lift 'bag assemblies that were m
A 1/4-inch airline was run from the T-fitting into the Schrader valve. Compressed air was
The rear Air Lift pneumatic 'bags were inflated when the Schrader valve was opened.
The 5-gallon storage air tank, compressor, airline manifolds, valves, fittings, computer,
The spare tire was removed to make room for the central brain of the Air Lift system.
To acquire enough room for the Air Lift accessories, a plasma cutter was used to remove th
Larry Well flipped down his welding helmet to secure the 5-gallon storage tank mounting br
Jeff welded up a frame for the Air Lift accessories.
Jeff mounted a piece of polished aluminum diamond plate to the tube frame.
All of the Air Lift accessories were mounted to the platform.
Two-sided foam tape was laid around the perimeter of the aluminum diamond plate to elimina
Louis Moreno installed the Air Lift accessory platform behind the storage air tank under t
Then, Moses Verduzco unraveled the 1/2-inch-diameter airline. An airline cutter was used t
Louis then inserted the 1/2-inch-diameter airline, inside a rubber insulated heater hose,
A quick and easy info panel gives a digital readout of 'bag pressure at all four-corners.
James connects CAT5 cable to the Electronic Control Unit (ECU). The ECU will be convenien
The Sport Trac Coppertone will get its grip from Pirelli Scorpion Zero A rubber, 265/35ZR2
Brian Doyen at Hot Motorsports in Santa Ana has the right stuff when it comes to mounting
After masking and a couple of coats of matte gray on the five-spokes, Ron mounted them at
Here's the first look at Coppertone laid out in the sunshine.
From The Driver SeatWe idled around in the parking lot to make sure there were no surprises. As we pulled out of the driveway and accelerated down the road, the Sport Trac's ride was like floating on air-no pun intended. As Casey applied the bakes and rolled into a corner, the front and rear independent suspension and the Pirelli Scorpions dug in and gripped the asphalt with limited body roll. Coppertone felt like it was on rails. The overall ride was very good. After we cruised into the parking lot, Casey put it in park, purged the 'bags to the pre-programmed layout specs, dropped Coppertone's framerails within a 1/4-inch from the asphalt, tuckin' those 20s and 22s. It was too cool.
|YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED |
|Time Spent Working: ||Approximately 9 hours |
|Degree of Difficulty: ||Advanced |
Tools Needed: Floor jack, jackstands, basic handtools, wrenches, drill press, Allen wrenches, pickle fork, Schrader valve, a hand-held plasma cutter or cutting torch, disc grinder, mig-welder, tig-welder, portable hand drill, assorted drill bits, small and medium Phillips screwdrivers, an airline cutter, and an industrial pneumatic tire changer.
|PARTS USED: |
|(2) Air Lift front strut airbags PN82605 ||$699.00 pair |
|(2) Air Lift rear strut airbags PN82107 ||$625.00 pair |
|(1) Air Lift control system kit PN27630 ||$1,525.00 each |
|(4 sets) Urethane strut stem bushings and fasteners ||PNRS981 |
|(1) Air Lift compressor ||PN16380 |
|(1) 5-gallon air tank ||PN10991 |
|(1) 40-footx1/2-inch-diameter airline ||PN20996 |
|(1) Digital Controller 175 psi ||PN27025 |
|(1) Digital Controller 175 psi ECU harness ||PN25033 |
|(2) Manifolds ||PN25035 |
|(1) Pressure transducer/sensor ||PN24001 |
|(1) Display to ECU line ||PN26440 |
|(2) 1/2-inch MNPTX1/4-inch FNPT bushings ||PN21247 |
|(1) Drain cock valve ||PN21754 |
|(1) Inflation valve ||PN21366 |
|(2) 1/2-inch Hex head pipe plugs ||PN21193 |
|(2) 1/2-inch MNPTX1/2-inch tube 90-degree elbow ||PN21370 |
|(1) Air Line cutter ||PN10530 |
|(6) 3/8-inch MNPTX1/2-inch tube 90-degree elbow ||PN21637 |
|(2) Self-tapping screws ||PN17132 |
|(1) Thread sealant ||PN23586 |
|(10) Self-tapping screws ||PN17263 |
|(4) 3/8-inch -16 Nyloc nuts ||PN18435 |
|(8) 3/8-inch flat washers ||PN18444 |
|(1) Display mounting bracket ||PN10415 |
|(1) Velcro ||PN10519 |
|(4) Manifold mounting brackets ||PN10422 |
|(8) 3/8-inch, 20x3/8-inch screws ||PN17320 |
|Sub Total: ||$2,849.00 |
|(2) Devious Edge 5 wheels 22x8-inch ||$1,400.00 pair |
|(2) Devious Edge 5 wheels 22x9-1/2-inch ||$2,000.00 pair |
|(2) Pirelli Scorpion Zero 265/35R22 (front) ||$476.00 pair |
|(2) Pirelli Scorpion Zero 305/35ZR22 (rear) ||$772.00 pair |
|(prices from Superbuytires.com) |
|Total: ||$7,497.00 |